DOVER-FOXCROFT — Whether it’s been in track and field alone or in other sports, Mount Desert Island High School has been no stranger to winning team championships the past two years. On Saturday, the Trojans brought home yet another piece of hardware to add to the trophy case.
The MDI boys’ team tied York for first place at Saturday’s Class B track and field championship at Foxcroft Academy. The result marked the first state outdoor track title in school history after the Trojans came three points short of claiming the crown last season.
“It feels great to make history,” MDI senior Owen Mild said. “We just felt throughout the meet that everything was going really well, and the confidence we had in ourselves was enough to get it done in the end.”
The Trojans got off to a strong start to the day and led Brewer through 13 events. York, though, withstood an individual win from MDI’s Griffin Maristany in the 200-meter dash and the Trojans’ team win in the 4-by-100 relay to surge to a two-point lead entering the decisive 4-by-400.
Yet with MDI having won the 4-by-400 in all but one of its six previous meets this year, the team had a good reason to be optimistic. A win in the final event would make up a minimum of two points and guaranteed to give them at least a share of the state championship.
“We both had had teams in the last heat going head to head,” head coach Aaron Long said of the Trojans’ showdown with York entering the final event. “The boys running the relay knew we were in contention for the team title, but they weren’t aware of the exact score before their race.”
In the end, both MDI and York would be satisfied with the final result. MDI’s Billy Kerley, Jose Chumbe, Owen Mild and Griffin Maristany led the Trojans to a first-place finish in the 4-by-400 with a time of 3 minutes, 32.19 seconds, and York took second to leave the two teams tied on 86 points.
In an interesting twist, the Trojans’ 3:32.19 time in the 4-by-400 was the exact same as the one MDI posted in the same event in the 2017 state championships. Whereas that effort clinched MDI second place behind Winslow, this one was enough to earn the team a share of the title.
“I essentially told [the relay runners] that I believed in them but that the only things they needed to focus on were the things they can control,” Long said. “I had complete faith that these boys would rise to the occasion.”
Aside from their three event wins, the MDI boys had a number of other strong performances on the track. Elijah Joyce’s 15.97-second effort in the 110-meter hurdles final earned him fourth place, and Maristany took third in the 400-meter dash with a time of 51.02 seconds.
MDI also had a successful day in the field, where Croix Albee finished second in the shot put, javelin throw and discus throw. Sophomore Elijah Denning cleared a height of 12 feet to place second in the pole vault.
The first-place finish marked the fourth state championship in the past two seasons for MDI athletics. The Trojans won the Class B boys’ basketball and indoor track titles last year before edging Ellsworth for the Class B swim championship in February.
“Honestly, I think the success we’ve had as a school is just a matter of having good team cultures and a lot of drive and determination in each sport,” Mild said. “We all play and compete for each other and our community, and the rest of it just comes down to trusting our coaches and giving it 100 percent.”
MDI’s girls’ team also enjoyed an excellent day in Dover-Foxcroft, The 4-by-100 relay team of Alahna Mild, Marilyn Sawyer, Adriana Novella and Ashley Anderson finished with a time of 51.43 seconds to give the Trojans first place over Belfast.
Individually, Anderson took second place in the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.59 seconds. Zoe Olson added another second-place finish for the Trojans in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:25.63.
In the field, MDI’s Mackenzie Hanna finished fourth place in the discus throw with a 106-foot effort. The Trojans finished the day with 37 points to place ninth as a team.
MDI will send its boys’ 4-by-100 and 4-by-400 relay team and girls’ 4-by-100 relay team to the New England championships Saturday, June 9, at the University of New Hampshire. Albee will compete individually for the Trojans in the discus throw and shot put.
That meet will be the last high school competition for seniors Owen and Alahna Mild, Albee, Maristany, Lee, Kerley, Chumbe, Novella and Anderson. Set to compete in MDI uniforms one last time, they want the occasion to be a memorable one.
“I think the biggest thing is going to be just doing our best there and enjoying it because it’s the last chance for a lot of us as seniors,” Mild said. “Setting school records is a big goal, but I want to be at my best in general because it’s the last meet for us no matter what.”
For Ellsworth, Matt Shea finished seventh in the 3,200-meter run with a time of 10:30.04. Nate Mason led the way for the Eagles in the field with 10th- and 12th-place finishes in the high and long jumps, respectively.
Lillian Frank, Abby Mazgaj, Kiona Osterlin and Margo Kenyon led the Ellsworth girls to sixth in the 4-by-800 relay with a time of 10:33.42. In the field, Emma McKechnie cleared 4 feet, 8 inches to tie for fifth in the high jump.
GSA athletes shine at Class C championships
George Stevens Academy athletes were among the top performers at the Class C championships Saturday in Waterboro.
GSA’s girls’ team placed fifth at the meet with 46 points. The team’s biggest moment of the day came when Eliza Broughton, Mary Richardson, Zeya Lorio and Mary Brenna Catus won the 4-by-800 relay with a time of 10 minutes, 14.30 seconds.
Individually, the Eagles got second-place finishes from Richardson (3,200-meter run) and Broughton (300-meter hurdles) and third-place efforts from LeeAnn Varnum (shot put) and Ava Sealander (pole vault).
For the GSA boys’ team, Max Mattson finished second in the triple jump at 42 feet, 4 1/2 inches and third in third in the high jump at 6 feet. The Eagles earned 32 points to place sixth.
Senior Danny Bunker finished sixth for Bucksport in the triple jump with a distance of 40 feet, 7 3/4 inches, and Carter Tolmasoff took seventh in the 100-meter dash final with a time of 12.11 seconds. Meaghan Goodine took 12th for the Golden Bucks in the girls’ 200-meter dash and 15th in the 400-meter dash.
For Deer Isle-Stonington, Brendan Penfold took fifth in the 1,600-meter run and fourth and the 3,200-meter run. Gabby Richardson of Sumner took 10th in the girls’ 100-meter dash.